Seriously, what is the world coming to that now Parkies aren’t safe in their driveways, at NorthPark Center, or at the filling station? This time, two robbers armed with handguns forced a University Park man to hand over his cash and his car while he was exiting his Kia Optima after a Sunday morning donut run, according to a CBS 11 report.
We have to wonder if more and more violent criminals aren’t seeing a big payday in the Park Cities, with all of the luxury real estate, high-end boutiques, and foreign luxury cars. Of course, there are some simple, effective ways to keep you and your family safe, according to the Dallas Police Department:
- Parking: Park your vehicle in a well lit area, clearly visible to the public. An attended parking lot is ideal, as criminals hate having witnesses.
- Entering Your Vehicle: have your keys in your hand, ready to enter. Keep your eyes moving and your head “on a swivel”; know your surroundings. Trust your instincts: If you “feel” something is wrong, turn around and leave the area. Once your reach your vehicle, unlock, quickly enter, then re-lock the doors. Get the vehicle moving as soon as you can. Often, if a criminal senses that a victim has observed him (“made him”), they’ll look for an easier victim.
- Be wary of people near your vehicle ask for directions, or ask for money to help with gas (“I’m from out of town and lost my wallet….”), or other possible distractions. They may be working with a partner, who will attempt to take your keys, and your vehicle.
- When in your vehicle and driving, keep your doors locked, and your windows rolled up.
- Drive in the center lane of a street (away from curbs and sidewalks)
- When stopping in traffic at a stop sign or stop signal, make sure you have room in front of you to maneuver and escape, if necessary. Rule of thumb: If you can’t see the rear tires of the vehicle in front of you touching the pavement, you’re too close.
- Keep your cell phone in your pocket. If your vehicle is stolen, you will have a way of contacting 911. If you cell phone is left inside the vehicle, you’re stranded without a way to call for help.
- Be aware that some thieves will “bump” a vehicle from behind, and steal a victim’s vehicle when the victim stops to exchange
information. Signal to the other vehicle’s driver to follow you to a well lit public area to exchange information. If you see a fire or police station, stop there and summon aid from inside.
- If you are a victim of Carjacking, cooperate with the suspect. Give him what he wants, and don’t argue. Make a mental note of the suspect(s) description, their vehicle’s description (if they have one), and report to 911 as soon as possible.